Products & Advice

HVM specifying - some things to consider

Selecting the best solution to mitigate a potential threat from hostile vehicles is more complex than just naming the test standard performance that is required. Similarly insufficient information in the original specification creates opportunity for confusion in a purchasing process that may involve both main contractors and sub contractors with the risk being that what actually gets installed is not exactly what the original specifier had intended.

In the worst case this may result in an installation that does not fully mitigate the identified threats or satisfy the operational requirements of the site. The following is a non-exhaustive list of considerations that should help form part of any selection process and help with the creation of a clear specification:

1. Mitigate the threat assessed! – ensure that any product selected will match not only the assessed threat but also any anticipated future increase in that threat.

2. Will the introduction of HVM create an operational problem eg. will the introduction of HVM create traffic queuing onto highways and if so, how do you mitigate this problem (a queue of traffic can be an effective barrier in its own right so may be a positive!).

3. If a vehicle is denied entry at the control point, how will they be rejected/turned around? What is the rejection process?

4. Mode of operation – clearly define the mode of operation and understand the ramifications that may arise as a result of this eg. access control can give the keys to your site to an unauthorised card holder!

5. Identify the control positions for the equipment as line of sight may be a significant factor.

6. Frequency of operation – the equipment should always be available when needed and should be 100% duty cycling (capable of continuous uninterrupted operation) if heavy traffic (general or peak) is anticipated.

7. System layout – is an airlock/sally port (control system to enter and exit the access/egress point) required and is there sufficient space for the largest vehicle types.

8. Ensure that relevant PAS69 or IWA guides are followed when planning equipment positioning – eg 1200mm spacing is between bollard walls and not centres or between sleeves.

9. Hydraulic power units (if separate from main product) should be in secure cabinets positioned on the secure side of site and should include suitable locking mechanisms to restrict access to authorised personnel.

10. Mitigation is generally about maximising standoff from infrastructure so ensure that HVM product positioning optimises this where possible.

11. Select appropriate product types for the environment eg bollards have a more sympathetic aesthetic quality when compared to road blockers which give a more emphatic message on access restriction. Understand the message the equipment will send.

12. Installation and foundations – understand the depths available for equipment foundations and select accordingly (shallow mounted equipment often comes with a premium cost whilst surface mounted sytems may have lower performance ratings).

13. Most automated HVM equipment requires 3 phase power supply so check equipment power requirements and ensure that this is available at the required KVA.

14. As most automated HVM requires varying depths of foundation below road level, understanding how the foundations are to be drained is essential to avoid subsequent problems. For example in some instances sump pumps linked to existing drains may be necessar .

15. Safety – carry out a site specific risk assessment on the implementation and operation of the equipment and identify / request suitable safety measures (induction loops, safety beams, safety buffers, torque limiting drives, laser scanners) but understand that each level of safety may have an adverse effect on the level of security provided by the system and its ability to be defeated.

16. Training – all operatives must be fully trained in the operation of the equipment and an ongoing training plan needs to be in place in case of staff turnover, periods of leave, sickness etc.

17. Maintenance – the equipment is likely to be a critical piece of equipment and the support of the equipment either internally or externally needs to be readily available (if it does not close then you have a safety breach and if it does not open you have a blockage).

18. Operatives – be aware that by implementing automated HVM you are recognising that there is a threat and this threat will now be crystallised at the point of entry control. There is a duty of care to operatives deployed at the HVM position and the resulting risk should be assessed and mitigated wherever possible.

19. When you have decided upon the independently tested product to be used, be as specific as possible in your description of it in any purchase or tender documentation. Vagueness in product descriptions can result in a different product being installed to what was intended.

20. If you choose to specify a product by performance requirements rather than as a specifically named product then we recommend that you insist on a product that has passed the performance test and query any product that is offered with the wording of ‘tested to …’. Anything can be tested to a standard but it isn’t much use to you if it didn’t pass the test!

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